Soul music has never gone away, but different versions of it come and go. In 2007, when Sharon Jones, 51 at the time, released her third album 100 Days, 100 Nights, she reached a significant audience. That made a lot of people declare "retro" soul back. But Sharon wasn’t retro, and the story around her success was much more complex. It is tied to the record label Daptone Records and her backing band, the Dap-Kings.
The story of the label and the bands associated with them (Sharon, Charles Bradley, The Frightnrs, and Amy Winehouse who worked with the Dap-Kings on your brilliant Back to Black album) is documented in the new book It Ain't Retro: Daptone Records & The 21st-Century Soul Revolution. It is filled with amazing stories about the unlikely rise of this cool music scene.
On this episode of In Defense of Ska, we speak with the author, Jessica Lipsky. We discuss several of the great artists on Daptone, like the brilliant and haunting rock steady group The Frightnrs. We discuss Jessica’s ska roots and some of the ska articles she’s published. Two years before every major outlet declared ska back, Jessica wrote about it for Billboard. And of course, we talk about Amy Winehouse, her love for ska, and how she had plans to record some ska songs on what would have been her third record.